An under-appreciated mother inherits a fortune and abandons her family.

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Aline MacMahon ...
Hattie 'Mom' Frink
...
Uncle Newt Frink
...
Joe 'Poppa' Frink
...
Emmett Frink
Helen Lowell ...
Amelia 'Grandma' Frink
Joan Wheeler ...
Lucille Frink
...
Norman Frink
...
Ramon Alvarez
Harold Huber ...
Benny Lopez
Louise Beavers ...
Camille, Hattie's Maid
Maidel Turner ...
Mrs. Shinliver
Harry Beresford ...
Mr. J. Harold Brumby
Harry C. Bradley ...
Dr. Shinliver
James Bush ...
Oliver Gilfin
Charles Coleman ...
Witherspoon, Hattie's Butler
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Storyline

An under-appreciated mother inherits a fortune and abandons her family.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Comedy | Drama

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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

26 May 1934 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Happy Family  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Warner Brothers liked the combination of Guy Kibbee and Aline MacMahon (who were earlier teamed in "Gold Diggers of 1933") that they co-starred them in four more consecutive films -- "Big Hearted Herbert", "Babbitt" (both 1934), "While the Patient Slept" and "Mary Jane's Pa" (both 1935). See more »

Quotes

Hattie 'Mom' Frink: You look to me like a married man - are you?
Benny Lopez: Well, you know how it is... gotta go through it once, like the measles, but i aint working at it now.
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Soundtracks

Let It Be Me
(uncredited)
Music by Allie Wrubel
Played during the scene with Hattie in her new apartment
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User Reviews

 
A great idea ruined by a complete lack of subtlety or pacing.
8 April 2015 | by (Bradenton, Florida) – See all my reviews

Nice assembly of supporting actors--McMahon, Kibbee, Jenkins, Darro, Herbert, Huber awful family--very demanding and selfish lot Jenkins a commie?! Lays it on TOO thick in general, lacks subtlety--could have been better

"The Merry Frinks" is a very frustrating film to watch. The story idea is great and the movie is chock full of wonderful bit actors from the Warner Brothers' lot. But, the writer took a great idea and completely ruined it--and the director didn't help either!

The Frinks are an awful lot. Each of the children, Grandma and Father are all selfish jerk-faces. Holding the family together is Mom (Aline MacMahon)--who puts up with all their obnoxious behaviors and is quite the enabler. However, through the course of the film, each of the family members makes Mom miserable again and again. However, just after she's had enough and is a miserable, broken woman, a lawyer shows up and announces that Ma has inherited $500,000 (a HUGE sum in the 1930s)...on the condition that she abandon her family! She naturally agrees...but she is pretty miserable leading a life of leisure. And, not surprisingly, the family falls to pieces without her.

The problem with the film is that the family is completely unbelievable. They overdo the awfulness so much that it never seems the least bit plausible and the film comes off much worse than it should have. The director also should have done something about this--but it all comes off as a great idea wasted due to ham-fisted writing and directing. I would love to see a remake of this one...one that makes the family semi-plausible and the ending possible. As it is, this was just a frustrating mess of a film.


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